West of Scotland Cup First Round



By Stewart McConnell

UNDERDOGS Meadow twice came from behind to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season.

Bragging rights are with the Irvine side until the next time they meet after manager Brian McGinty produced a tactical master stroke.

He set up a tightly-packed defence which was hard to break down and played on the counter-attack which unsettled Buffs who adopted a much more offensive approach with two up front.

This was a pulsating cup tie, played in front of a 500-strong crowd, which saw former Meadow team-mates McGinty and Chris Strain pit their wits against each other for the first time in the dug out.

And you could hardly take your eyes off the action.

Buffs went ahead with the first action of the match in the opening minute when Craig Pettigrew smashed home a free-kick from 22 yards.

Only two minutes later it was all-square when Ben Carson drilled home a free-kick from a similar distance.

A great chance came Kilwinning's way in 11 minutes when a shot from just outside the box from Carlo Monti was well saved by Shaun Newman. At the other end a minute later visiting player Ryan Carnwath was booked for a rash challenge on home goalie Michael Wardrope.

A long range effort from Carson was easily dealt with by Wardrope in 18 minutes and at the other end a minute later, a Ryan Nisbet header was touched round the post by the Meadow goalie.

Bryan Boylan shot just wide from inside the box in 26 minutes as Buffs pressed for a second goal.

Tommy Maitland shot narrowly wide for Buffs from 22 yards in 31 minutes.

Nisbet sent a 20-yard shot curling just over the bar from 25 yards five minutes later.

Buffs had a goal chalked off for offside when Nisbet raced in to slot home from 10 yards although it was a late flag.

The home side restored their advantage a minute after the break when James Latta capitalised on some defensive indecision to shoot under Newman and into the net from 10 yards.

Then Buffs came close' into 50 minutes when Findlay Frye went on a darting run before shooting just high and wide from 25 yards a minute later.

However in 52 minutes it was all-square again when Jared Willett picked up a pass before rolling the ball home from 10 yards.

Boylan surged forward before shooting narrowly over the bar from 22 yards in 57 minutes.

Carlo Monti slipped a fine through ball to Boylan who shot narrowly over the bar from eight yards in 63 minutes.

Ben Black shot over the bar from 20 yards for Meadow in 66 minutes.

Medda snatched the lead with a brilliant goal in 69 minutes when Willet outstripped the Buffs defence with a dazzling run and cut the bill back to Con Boyle who drilled it home from 10 yards.

Buffs had a real escape in 78 minutes when substitute Graham Boyd had only Wardrope to beat but screwed the ball wide from 12 yards.

Ben Lewis had his 18-yard shot well handled by Gordon in 82 minutes.

Findlay Frye shot over the bar from 12 yards in 85 minutes as the visitors held on to secure their most memorable win of the season.

The visitors were the hungrier team and deserved to win.

KILWINNING RANGERS: Wardrope; Coleman, Maitland, Pettigrew, Whyte, Frye, Monti, McGuinness, Boylan, Nisbet, Latta. Subs: McCloskey, Hanvey, Lewis, Dallas, Winters.

IRVINE MEADOW: Gordon; McLennan, Hannah, Buchanan, Miller, Carson, Boyle, Carnwath, McKay, Black, Willet. Subs: Marks, Boyd, Begley.